It's like an AppleTV, but cheaper ($35).
Sources: Ars Technica / Google Play
Google announced a new device, dubbed Chromecast, at a press event in San Francisco today. The tiny dongle plugs into an HDMI input on a TV and connects to Wi-Fi, allowing users to stream video directly to their TVs from other devices—without requiring matching operating systems.
Interfaces will now present a "cast" button that, when clicked, will send the video from a PC, tablet, or smartphone to the television. Playback can then be controlled by the device sending the video.
During the demo, Google was able to send a YouTube video playing on a Nexus 4 or the new Nexus 7 to a TV in an off state. The video seamlessly appeared on the TV. Google clarified that since Chromecast interacts directly with YouTube so the phone doesn't have to sustain the stream.
The Chromecast works with a mix of devices and is reliant on Google and Google-approved apps, rather than the Android operating system. This means iPhones will be able to interact with the Chromecast via a "cast" button as well. The only non-Google video app compatible with the Chromecast at launch will be Netflix, allowing users to throw a Netflix show from another device to the TV.
To swap between devices to control the television, users can just pick up another tablet or smartphone and open the relevant app. The device will detect that the Chromecast is playing something from that app and offer the user the opportunity to control it.
The Chromecast will also work with music apps, specifically Google Music and Pandora. Google stated that a feature allowing users to project "any Chrome tab" to the Chromecast is in beta. Otherwise, the Chromecast requires no special hardware and will work with "most laptops and OSes," the company said.
Supported Media Types
All Google Cast devices at a minimum support the following media types:
- Video codecs: h.264, VP8
- Audio decoding: HE-AAC, LC-AAC, CELT/OPUS, MP3
- Containers: MP4/CENC, WebM, MPEG-DASH, SmoothStreaming
- Level 1 DRM support: Widevine, Playready
Last edited by Arthur; 24th July 2013 at 11:48 PM.
Does it allow mirroring of tablet/phone? This is the 1 of 2 features lacking on android which really niggle me when I see Apple users using it!
Biggest problem s you need an Internet connection to stream it. As it streams over the cloud, thus removing the strain on battery life. But at £25 I would defo buy one
AirPlay isn't a new technology; Apple's users have become accustomed to the luxury and often criticize developers that don't include the feature in their apps. Look at any number of popular music and video apps in the App Store, and odds are they've got AirPlay support baked in. It's one of the best features of iOS, and a significant reason users stay with the platform.
Google recognizes the importance developers play in this game, and the company is immediately rolling out an SDK and APIs that let app makers tap into Chromecast. And that SDK is available across Android, iOS, and Chrome OS — again playing to Chromecast's "open" strengths. Even better, Google has said it hopes hardware partners will also incorporate Chromecast in their products. So even if you're not the early adopter type, you may still find Google's streaming technology in your next television or set-top box. But to make that a significant factor, Google will need to round up wider support than it's found with the struggling Google TV platform or with the Miracast streaming standard it began pushing last year with the Nexus 4. (Source)
Chromecast is now sold out everywhere in the US and the Netflix offer has been withdrawn. Why does Google always underestimate demand? The same thing happened with the Nexus 4.
[Hands-On] Initial Impressions Of The Google Chromecast « Android Police
Getting the Chromecast on your network is fairly easy with the Android app. I've seen the connection fail a few times, but it always goes through eventually. Depending on where your TV is in relation to your router, you may have connectivity issues. If that's the case, the included HDMI extender may help by getting the stick away from the back of the TV a few inches. It's also useful if the rather large Chromecast doesn't fit in the port. However, the HDMI extender makes it look even more awkward.
The only strange thing I'm seeing right now with regard to setup is that the Chromecast doesn't support 5GHz WiFi networks, but my Android devices mostly do. The app tries to connect the Chromecast to whatever network the controlling device is on. For me that was a 5GHz N network. The setup failed and didn't really explain why. The app also complained when I manually changed the Chromecast over to my 2.4GHz network (dual-band router) that I wouldn't be able to connect because my device was on a different network. Well, no. That's not how routers work. It still connects fine with my devices on 5GHz, but the app seems confused about this whole situation.
Last edited by Arthur; 27th July 2013 at 08:47 AM.
GTv hackers were right they got root.
How to switch your Chromecast to the beta or dev channels
The Chromecast OS may be Android-based but the updates look like Chrome. There's a stable, beta, dev and canary channel. According to the source, there's even a dogfood channel which is probably what Googlers have been using pre-release.
It's possible to switch channels but the process is not easy. Here are the steps that worked for me. If they fry your Chromecast, you're out $35.
Koush has made another new app: Dropbox to Chromecast.
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